Florida Medical Cannabis Program
Florida became the 26th state to adopt a medical marijuana law. Established on November 8, 2016, Amendment 2 will allow seriously ill patients to access medical marijuana in the form that works best for them. This makes the program significantly more inclusive, since it was previously limited to low-THC products for people suffering from Epilepsy, Cancer, or terminally ill patients.
The amendment will require the Department of Health to regulate medical marijuana treatment centers, which would cultivate and dispense cannabis to qualifying patients who have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition and have a physician’s certification and a valid identification card. For the most up to date information on Florida rules and regulations visit the medical marijuana rules & regulations page on Floridahealth.gov
Florida Medical Marijuana Business Requirements
Though the program is not fully outlined, there are certain items that each municipality has used as a standard in qualifying good applicants:
- A clean background, with no prior felony convictions. Some minor drug related misdemeanors may be permitted (This rule is discretionary at the state level)
- The ability and willingness to submit to a full, comprehensive background check, which will include fingerprinting
- Sufficient funding or the ability to qualify for significant funding with which to capitalize the business
The Office of Compassionate Use is charged with writing and implementing rules for medical cannabis. The creation of a regulatory structure for Amendment 2 is still in process. Fore more information, refer to the Floridahealth.gov website.
Application process for cannabis businesses begins
Businesses licensed, permitted and operational
How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business in Florida
Six licenses have already been granted under the previous state program,in order to be competitive with these previously established businesses it is best to get started immediately. Here are the items that will require research and planning, in order to assemble and submit an application in Florida:
- Team: The talent you engage for your organization will be an important component regulators will consider as they review your application.
- Capitalization: In order for a Medical Cannabis business to succeed, your business must have access to a significant amount of funding. It is a common misconception that cannabis businesses will generate enough revenue at inception to negate the need for substantial funding.
- Organization: In addition to intensive scrutiny of team members and financing, regulators will look to license cannabis businesses who submit well-structured applications, which include: comprehensive business plans, detailed organization charts, compliant facility design, built-out security plans, sophisticated financial models in addition to other specialized information about your business.